Despite illnesses holding Pirate harriers back, the Pagosa Springs cross country team managed to show with 10 personal bests and overall second place finishes for boys’ and girls’ squads at the regional qualifying race in Delta last Saturday.
Running her best race of the year for a personal record time, Julia Adams led the girls’ squad with a seventh-place overall and a time of 20 minutes, 21 seconds. On Adams’ heels was Jacie Harms who, despite feeling the effects of a cold, came in just behind Adams at eighth place, with a 20:25 time. Rounding out the top four finishers for the girls was Rachel Jensen’s 20:53 time for 10th place and Katarina Medici’s 21:42 time, good for 23rd place.
“We knew that the race would pretty much be between Gunnison and ourselves,” said coach Scott Anderson of the girls competition. “And it played out just that way with Gunnison packing very well and edging us out by one point.”
With illness also an issue for the boy’s squad, Anderson said, “It probably was not our best shot at giving Bayfield a run for their money.”
However, all six varsity boys managed personal bests at the race, with boys’ leader Jackson Walsh finishing second overall with a time of 16 minutes, 26 seconds, “The fastest time of a runner I have coached,” said Anderson of Walsh’s performance.
The remainder of the boy’s squad tailed behind, with a pack placing 16th through 19th. Leading that pack, Kyle Brookens finished with a 17:36 time, followed by Ryan Hamilton’s 17:37 time and Cole Mastin’s 17:39 finish.
The Pirates run next in Fort Collins on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Colorado 3A championships.
“By next week, we hope to be healthy again,” said Anderson of the girls’ team, “And, perhaps, improving on last year’s fourth-place finish.”
Anderson went on to speculate on the boy’s chances, saying, “The boys should improve on last year’s ninth-place finish, as we are currently ranked fifth.”
“Nearly anything can happen at a state meet,” Anderson went on to say, “And the top teams are all grouped together fairly tightly.”